Foreign Relations: The Maiden Comes of Age

For years, German-American relations resembled nothing so much as a late 18th century romantic novel, with a fluttery maiden (the Federal Republic), a sometimes cold lover (the U.S.), with dialogue full of Sturm und Drang. Everytime a Senator would complain about the high cost of keeping six U.S. divisions in West Germany, shudders would run up Bonn spines. Every time the cold war would thaw a bit, Bonn would demand reassurance—once again —that permanent division of Germany would not be the price of a Soviet-U.S. rapprochement.

The U.S., on its side, demanded absolute fidelity. The whole pattern of worry, reassurance...

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